It's hard to find a seat at Tra Chanh at noon on hot days, especially just after lunch. I'm not sure how it got to be so famous and well-patronised. Not that long ago, it was a standard kind of cafe. I finally got the chance to try this place recently.
Most people who come here are young office workers and students. They come here during their lunch breaks for a drink and something sweet before heading back to work. Many conversations take place, ranging from lottery results to political scandals. I was sitting there for an hour listening to the customers' stories, which made me laugh, particularly the ones between girls about their boyfriends. Many of the young male tea drinkers were telling thier bad luck stories about missing lottery numbers from the draw the night before. It really gives a sense of what is going on in the minds of young Hanoians.
Tra Chanh serves one of the most popular street drinks in the old quarter of Hanoi. There are few options to choose from iced tea, served with slices of lemon, to coffee to sweet comsomme of banana.